Go here to see the characters.
Adopted by Arti
Everybody knows the story of how the great battle between Lionclan and the famous Bloodclan.
But what if it hadn't ended the way it did.
What if the leader that died was Firestar instead of Scourge?
Bloodclan has won the battle, and taken Thunderclan's, Riverclan's, Windclan's and Shadowclan's survivors...
Imprisoning them for many seasons...Starclan has waited enough time...it is time to escape...
Change the fate of the cats, before it's too late and clans are forgotten....
And all hope is lost....
We're losing, Firestar thought, fighting panic. I must find Scourge!
With the BloodClan leader's death, he knew the battle would be over. The cats from Twolegplace had no sense of tradition or loyalty to the warrior code. Scourge held them together, and without him they would be nothing.
Firestar felt his fur begin to bristle as his gaze found Scourge at last. The small black cat was crouched at the base of the Great Rock, his claws slicing at a warrior he had trapped there. Firestar's belly lurched as he recognized Onewhisker.
With a yowl of defiance he leaped across the clearing. Scourge whipped around, leaving Onewhisker to crawl away, bleeding.
The BloodClan leader bared his teeth in a snarl. "Firestar!"
Without warning, he leaped. Firestar rolled with the impact and landed on top of the smaller cat, planting one paw on his neck. But before he could bite down, Scourge wriggled away with the speed of a snake. The dog's teeth on his claws flashed as he raked them across Firestar's shoulder.
Excruciating pain lanced through Firestar's body. He forced himself not to flinch but leaped forward again, sending Scourge flying back against the Great Rock. Briefly the black tom was stunned, and Firestar managed to bite down on his foreleg. Pain like fire seared through him again with another blow from the BloodClan leader's claws, and in the shock of it Firestar lost his grip on Scourge.
The BloodClan leader reared back, his paw raised for the death blow. Firestar scrabbled to get away, but he was not fast enough. Agony exploded in his head as the reinforced claws struck down. Flame washed over his eyes, fading to leave nothing but darkness. A soft, black tide was rising to engulf him; he made one final effort to get up, but his paws would not support him, and her fell black into nothingness.
Firestar opened his eyes. He was lying on the grass of Fourtrees with moonlight washing around him and the rustle of leaves above his head. For a few heartbeats he relaxed, reveiling in the warm air of greenleaf. Then he remembred Fourtrees as he had last seen it, the branches black and stark in the depths of leaf-bare and the clearing thronged with screeching, warring cats. Abruptly he sat up. He was not alone.
"I'm sorry Firestar..." meowed the white StarClan warrior as he approached him. "Scourge killed you. All your lives."
Firestar felt as if he had been hit right in the stomach, and a sick feeling washed over all his body. He looked up and saw Whitestorm leaving him alone. Firestar looked at the space beside where his deputy had been standing. At first he thought it was empty, but suddenly he realized that it was filled by the faintest outline of a flame-colored cat. His green eyes looked dimmed and lifeless.
Beside the body, stood a small black tom. His face showed triumph and pride. "The great Firestar has died! The forest is now ours!"
3 moons later...
Bramble unsheathed and sheathed his claws again. It stank in the den. He wondered when Scourge would be arriving.
It was three moons since the horrible battle. Firestar was dead and most of the Clan cats were as well. But Scourge had handpicked survivors, the cats he thought were the strongest. The most useful. He changed their names, taking away their dignity. He took over the forest, taking away their home.
The Clan cats were all kept in what used to be the old ThunderClan camp. There were a few BloodClan cats there to be kept as guards and the deputy and leader were both BloodClan. The leader, Eclipsed was Scourge's son. There was no escape. And every moon Scourge came. Most of the times he killed one of the Clan cats as a warning to the others.
Please StarClan don't let them take Squirrel.
Bramble's new mate, Firestar's daughter, his only surviving daughter, was pregnet with his kits.
"Scourge is here!" the call shattered Bramble's thoughts. He was prodded out of the den by a guard and entered the camp. It was unrecognizable now. All the flowers and greenery had been ripped out, Twoleg trash littered the ground and guards stood everywhere.
Eclipsed was talking to a small black cat at the enterence of camp. Scourge thought Bramble. He looked at the cats lining up across camp and saw Squirrel with a pang. She was beautiful, even though her fur was matted, her eyes dark. Bramble ran his mind over the two cats who had been chosen earlier. Squirrel's sister Leaf and the first moon they took Leopardstar.
Bramble was pretty sure they killed the cats they took. he scanned across the cats who were left, weak and shivering and starving. I don't want any of them to be taken.
Scourge paced in front of the cats, looking at them with narrowed eyes. When he seemed happy enough that all his prisoners were starving and helpless he smiled.
"Now time to pick the lucky cat."
Bramble looked at Squirrel and all of his friends. Please none of them...please...StarClan please.. he prayed silently.
"I choose Bramble."
Squirrel let out a howl of pain. "No!"
Scourge gave her a happy look, showing this was exactly the reaction he had wanted and a guard clawed Bramble's mate on her flank. Squirrel ignored the pain and tried to break out of the line but her best friend's Tawny and Feather blocked her way.
"No! You'll just die too! As well as the kits!" Feather said, her eyes shining with emotion. Her brother, Storm and Bramble had been friends and she and Bramble were good friends as well.
"Yah. He'll be ok. My brother's a fighter." Tawny said, her eyes glittering with pain. It lookedd like it was all she coluld do to not go after Bramble herself. Squirrel's eyes welled up with tears. Feather looked like she was about to start crying too and Squirrel didn't want that so she tried to stop herself.
Crow ran his tail comfortingly along both she-cat's back. "You'll pay for this Scourge. You can't keep us here forever."
The smoky gray cat had spoken up more then once but now was the first time he hadn't masked the threat of rebellion. Squirrel's eyes widened in shock. She muttered, "Don't get yourself caught too!" her heart raced, Crow was her friend. Even though he was annoying. Feather was shaking with fear at what Scourge might do to her mate.
But Scourge was alreayd being whisker out the camp enterence by his guards, one of which was dragging Bramble behind him. Eclipsed however had heard and scratched Crow on the face. "Shut it Clannie."
Crow crumpled to the ground, a paw to his face. Feather let out a small shriek of fear and licked her mate, trying to clean the wound. Squirrel just stared where Scourge had disappeared with her mate.
Why are we letting this happen?
The thought hit her hard and fast. She knew the answer. The Clans had lost. BloodClan was all that remained. And they were in charge.
But thoughts of rebellion were in her head as she stumbled back to the nursery.
The nursery smelled horrible and all the kits running around didn't help. There were five other queens as well as Squirrel. Squirrel had just begun to appreciate the Clans each having their own nursery in the past few days. But now she didn't notice it. All she could replay was her screaming for Bramble as he was dragged away....
She vowed to herself that if Crow started a rebellion she would join him, kits or no kits.
Crow fumed. He was shoved roughly back into the warriors den and he plonked down in his next before reliazing it was alive with maggots. Screeching, he jumped up and looked at his nest. He couldn't be sure if it was just because the bedding was VERY old or because some BloodClan fox-heart put them there. He grabbed his moss and defiantly went outside, shaking all the maggots out, making sure some got on the guards. He padded back in.
Somewhere in the back of his mind he knew he had to stop, Feather and the kits would get hurt as well as any cats who tried to help him. But he couldn't help him. It was in his blood.
He passed Tawny who was shoved back in. She smelled as though she was visiting the nursery. Crow suddenly had an urge to do something, anything. He beckoned to Tawny, keeping one eye on the guard who was looking at the suspiciously.
"How's hunting?" he asked loudly. Tawny gave him a weird look and the guard looked away, obviously not wanting to listen to the boring conversation. "Rebellion. Tell Squirrel and Feather. Meeting tonight at Fallen Trees."
Tawny nodded, amber eyes shining. she turned and padded out to the nursery. The guard glared after her, then at Crow. Crow smirked at him. The guard curled his lip and turned away. Crow settled in his newly made nest. He hoped Tawny got the message to the others.
The night shone brightly as Crow raced out of camp. He hadn't even bothered making an excuse to the guard. Which was stupid. As he neared Fallen Trees a pang of sadness hit him. The old Four Trees had been destroyed right after the battle. The trees were dark and leafless now. All the younger saplings and bushes had been torn out of the ground so the Four Oaks stood alone and frightening. The Great Rock had been flippoed over and turned up. Now it stood like a pillar, room enough only for one cat. The moons shone brightly, the only source of happiness Crow could find.
He scanned the clearing. The three she-cats waited for him, in the shadow of the Great Rock. He ran to them, paws slipping softly on the mud. Finally he reached them. Feather purred and nuzzled him. Tawny nodded to him, eyes dead. Squirrel was standing a little aways, head bowed.
"This was where he died." she murmered. We all bowed our heads. Crow remembered the night Firestar died with a sickness in his stomach and he grit teeth. It took a while to figure out Firestar was gone. But when they did the Clans fell pretty quickly. Scourge killed most of them, but he left the strong ones. They raided the camps. And that night they set Firestar's body on fire and made them all watch.
It was awful.
Finally they pried Squirrel away and the she-cats all looked at Crow. He hadn't really planned any speech or anything but he just knew what to say. "I asked you here because I want you to help me. We're going to start a rebellion."
Feather gasped and Squirrel nodded. Tawny grinned, "So did you ask us because wer're your friends or because we're all very attractive she-cats? Or because we each represent a Clan?" Crow hadn't noticed that last one. He looked at them. Squirrel from ThunderClan, Tawny from ShadowClan, Feather from RiverClan, and himself from WindClan. Of course that was in the old days.
He nodded. "All of them."
Tawny purred, "Well let's start planning..."
"Storm and Bramble should be here too." Tawny murmered. She suddenly hoped she hadn't reminded any of the others of their missing friends/mates/family. She missed her brother with a horrible longing and Storm had been one of her best friends. The others merely nodded.
"So the plans good?" Crow said. We all nodded. Tawny didn't think any of them would question him. Even though he hadn't been related to or loved the missing cats, they had been his best friends, leaving him alone to help the she-cats. He was the only tom when there should have been three.
Tawny thought about the plan. So far, Crow just wanted them to work on getting trustable cats on their side. But he specifically named several cats they shouldn't ask. Tawny trusted Crow, she was sure he knew what he was doing. Tawny followed Squirrel as they leaped back to camp leaving Feather and Crow alone. She was sure they would be ok. Cats and names ran through her head as she thought of who to approach. Sand and Gray would help most definatly. Russet and Misty as well. And of course Rowan. The others she would have to think about.
She was so lost in thought that she hardly noticed when she passed through the enterence to camp. She subconciously bounded to her den. Squirrel had vanished but she didn't notice until a claw pricked at her from behind. She spun around, tail lashing, teeth bared, claws already unsheathed, waiting for the battle to begin...
A guard faced her. Another stood behind her holding a squirming Squirrel. Tawny closed her eyes and reopened them. Please StarClan no...
"We were up and we saw you two pretty little kitties come back in so we decided we needed some fighting practice." the she-cat in front of Tawny leered at her, smirking. Tawny fought to keep from relaxing. They didn't know about Crow and Feather. They just wanted some cats to fight. Which was bad. But not half as bad as the punishmet for treason.
"Let her go, she's a queen." Tawny told the tom holding Squirrel. He looked uncomfortable. Letting her go would be un-BloodClan behavior but she was putting up a great fight for a queen and he was already bleeding from several long scratches. He muttered something and turned Squirrel loose.
The gigner she-cat sprang over to Tawny, green eyes sparkling with worry. Tawny gave her a slight nod and Squirrel, still looking back in worry, ran to the nursery. Tawny turned to face the two cats again when a paw slammed into her face. She hissed and fell to the ground. The blows kept coming, raining down on her. Someone was scratching her, the cuts burning like fire...
She curled into a ball, trying to shield her face and ears but she was loosing conciousness. And they kept attacking. There were two of them and she was losing badly. Make it stop. Please StarClan make them stop.
Then suddenly, it did stop. Tawny carefully peeked out at the clearing. Her two tormentors had vanished and she scanned the clearing, seeing them a few foxlengths away, unconcious. She looked around. No one was there. Was this just a bad dream? Would she wake up in her nest? Or was ths real? Who had saved her?
She looked up at the stars, searching for answers. They twinkled merrily back. Tawny blinked. Of course. But...was it possible? StarClan had stayed silent after Firestar's death, they hadn't sent dreams to the old medicine cats or any other cat. No one had visited the Moonstone and the sigs they used to send stopped. But now...
Tawny wasn't sure to be angry at their long silence or delighted at their return.
StarClan is back.
Cinder jerked her broken leg in her sleep. She watched as the ginger tom vanished. Of course he wasn't really Firestar, just her wishing he was. She stopped herself from crying out as he turned back to her and shimmered into mist. She jerked awake.
The den she was sharing with the other medicine cats jolted before her eyes. She looked around. Moth was snoring. Willow was curled against her, slepeing fitfully, her whimpers annoying the guards outside. Little was also awake, staring outside, eyes dead and glassy. Cinder felt the familiar burst of sadness when she looked at Bark's empty nest. Bark had been killed almost the moment they were settled in the den. He was always a rebellious. Cinder wondered if he was in StarClan now.
Of course there'd be no way of knowing, StarClan had deserted them.
She looked up with Little as a rustling said someone had entered the den. Cinder was pretty sure it would be Eclipsed or another one of the BloodClan cats but it was Tawny. She was covered with scratches and blood but her eyes were gleaming. Cinder gasped and rushed to the herb storage to find some herbs for Tawny's wounds but found only the scent of them left. She sighed and padded back out.
"What is it Tawny?" she asked warily.
"StarClan is back." Tawny whispered, eyes glowing.
"WHAT?" yowled Little. The guard poked his head in and growled, then went back out. Tawny carried on, whispering excitedly.
"These two cats started beating me up-"
"How awful!" exclaimed Moth who had woken up by now and was listening with Willow. Cinder shushed her, willing Tawny to go on.
"Yah, well I'm ok. But then they just suddenly vanished. And I looked up, and there they were, lying unconcious a few fox lengths again. And I was looking at the stars wondering who helped me and one of them twinkled back, almost like a wink!" Tawny finished her story excitedly.
Cinder wanted to believe it with all her heart. But she knew it could be not true. Tawny could've just imagined things or the stars were just twinkly that night. Still, the medicine cat inside of her stirred and she knew it wasn't a ruse. StarClan had returned.
"And there's something else." Tawny murmered, her voice dropping even more.
"We're planning a rebellion."
Little gasped and Willow jerked her head up, eyes alight.
"What?" hissed Cinder. "You'll all get killed! Who else is in with you?!"
"It was Crow's idea. Feather, Squirrel, and I are all helping him." Cinder let out a groan. The rashest cat in the Clan teamed with two pregnet queens and Tawny. It did not sound like a good set up.
"You don't have to help, I just wanted you to know." Tawny explained. "You don't have to help." then in a louder voice, she said, "Thanks for the tips, bye!"
"Remember to keep out of trouble!" Little called after her as she ducked out. Cinder's head spun with this new infromation. Her ancestors was back and an uprising was brewing. Things had changed in less then a day. A silence blanketed the den.
Willow spoke first after the long silence. "What're we going to do?"
"We're going to help them rebel." said Cinder firmly. "Or die trying."
Sand sighed as Gray lay next to her. She spent her free time now dreaming of reuniting with Firestar and different ways of killing Scourge. Gray looked at her sadly. "You ok?"
No, nothing will ever be ok.
Gray looked up as Feather entered the den. Sand kept looking at the walls of the dens, listening to Gray greet his daughter.
"Sand, come over here...listen." Sand turned to see Gray and his daughter huddled together. She scooted over. "What?"
"We're planing a rebellion. Crow, Tawny, Squirrel and I." Sand felt a touch of pride that her daughter was helping then the actual rebellion idea struck her.
"You can't! More cats will die!" she hissed. Then her eyes fell. "I can't loose anymore. No one else." Grya gave her a sympathetic look but Feather's blue eyes were full of fire.
"Sand, we counted on you being ready to help, to avenge your mate? Do you care anymore?" Sand was about to reply when Feather kept speaking. "If we keep here, more and more cats will be taken away and will die. One. By. One. And you'll regret not helping us then, when all those cats you care about are gone, killed by something you hated but wouldn't help destory." Feather slowed, breathing heavy. "And then Sand, then will you help us?"
Gray looked at his daughter, shocked. Sand was totally blown away. Feather was always gentle and kind, she had never spoken to anyone like that. And her words had hit home, just as the silver tabby had wanted them to. She realized she would loose less cats this way. She had to protect her daughter. She had to protect the Clan she swore to give her life for so long ago.
Feather was turning to leave, her eeys brimming with emotion. "I thought you'd both say yes. I guess I was wrong." Gray looked indignent.
"Hey, I said I'd help!"
"No you didn't." Feather half smiled as her father rolled her eyes. "Well I will"
She nodded, "Thanks dad." she turned to go, once again.
Sand felt the feelings of lonliness and hurt swirl inside her. Firestar had been killed, Leaf had been taken, as well as Bramble. She couldn't let anymore cats die, couldn't do it..can't....
"I'll help." she heard herself whisper.
Feather turned, eyes sparkling, "I knew you'd say yes! OK, well I'll talk to you about what we're going to do later, ok?" she bounded out.
Sand growled. These BloodClan cats were going to get it...she hoped it ended in another fight. She'd anhilate them....for Firestar.
She went back to talking with Gray, more animated then before.
Feather slipped around the dark and slimey Twoleg rubbish. "Remind me why we're doing this again." Tawny groaned beside her.
Crow turned to face the three lagging she-cats, all of whom were whereing expresions ranging from disgust to annoyence. "I told you, we're looking aorund BloodClan territory. Just to see their home, get a feel. Maybe spy some. It'll help with the rebellion." he told them.
Squirrel rolled her eyes and Tawny muttered, "OK, give me a good reason why we're doing this again." Feathertail giggled and Crow flicked his ear, signaling he had heard.
Feather purred. She knew her mate was putting everythng he could into this rebellion and he wanted them to be serious about it too. But making them crawl through Twoleg trash wasn't the way to assure that his three helpers would be serious. As though he read her thoughs, Crow flicked his tail, "Shape up, I think we're almost there."
Feather crouched, lower to the ground and prowled after her mate. Squirrel was behind her and Tawny brought up the rear.
They padded on for what felt like a lifetime. Feather could hear Tawny muttering about how 'almost there' must mean 'halfway around the world'. Finally Crow stopped. Feather bumped into him and Squirrel skidded to avoid hitting the mates.
They had arrived at a large area. It was cut off around in square but some Twoleg mesh, a huge fence made out of hard material. The area was uprised, on he same dirty material as a Thunderpath. The four cats raised their eyes up above the Thunderpath stuff and flattened their ears so no one would notices them.
Feather watched the scene, eyes narrowed in confusion. She wished Twoleg Place was quieter so she could hear better...
"...fighting class...now" some cat said. Then he called two cats up, Feather didn't catch their names. But the crowd shrieked with joy, it was clear this was some kind of fight that all the cats wanted to see. Why she didn't know. Two cats leaped in front of all the others on some kind of upraised rock. The others crowded around, watching and yowling and cheering.
The two cats didn't look like they wanted to fight. One was a gray tom with broad shoulders and amber eyes. He reminded Feathertail so much of Stormfur that-she stopped and peered at him. Then stared in shock at his opponet. It was a slim she-cat, dappled, mottled golden fur and her head raised up in pride...
"We've found them." Feather whispered.
"What? Who?" hissed Crow to her right.
"It's them. It's Stormfur and Leopardstar."
Stormfur didn't notice the shadows at first. But he did notice when the shadows started jumping up and down and when one squealed a little, the others making quieting gestures. He assumed they were BloodClan kits. He sighed. The squeak had reminded him of Squirrel. He missed home. His real home. Not the BloodClan riddled forest his home had become.
Memories of the day Scourge took him away were fresh in his mind. Had anyone noticed? Or just put him off as another death. No one would guess he had been dragged, unconcious from the battle because the vicious little black cat thought he would be a good fighter. Leopardstar had been taken too. They said Leafpaw had been taken from the Clans later, but he was sure she was dead. And Bramble, Bramble had come. But he wasn't the same anymore...
Leopardstar was staring him down, reluctant to attack one of her warriors. But Stormfur knew she would. He just hoped he;d be strong enough to fend her off. Then something caught his eyes. The kits had towered on top of one another, making a wobbly stack of cats. The one on top was waving frantically at him. He stared, amused. The kits had never done this before. Then he looked closer and let out a gasp.
The only cat he could see, illuminated in the cold moonlight, was a smokey gray tom. He looked below that cat and say familiar amber eyes and a little tortoishell fur, cast into light by a Twoleg light.
Crowpaw! Tawnypelt! And....yes! Below that was Squirrelpaw and....yes! Feathertail! He nearly let out a yowl of triumph, then met Crowpaw's blue, frazntic eyes. He got the message.
Don't tell anyone! Sneak out. Be careful!
He gave the tiniest of nods, and then Leopardstar hit him
He grunted as she smacked into him, hissing furiously, but eyes were dead, except for the pain of attacking her Clanmate. Stormfur let out the yowl he knew the BloodClan cats expected, then hissed quickly, "Feathertail, she's here. With friends. We have to sneak out!"
He admired how Leopardstar's expression didn't change one bit as she clawed him, but the understanding was in her eyes. Then gone before anyone but him could see.
He purred and hoped the rogues got sick of the fight soon. Because then they could escape.
Leopardstar's heart lifted when Stormfur had told her they could break out. No more nights of hunger! No more scars she didn't deserve! No more sharing her dens and life with these mouse-brained, fox-hearted, maggot-eating, cats! But she couldn't let it show. Or they would make sure the guards knew about it. And would send cats to hunt down the young cats trying to help her escape. Which would not do.
She finished the fight quickly, viciously pinning Stormfur down and clawing at his belly, slahing again and again, making sure to only graze his skin, not deeply claw it. But it bled and he did yowl. But she was pretty sure he was acting. The BloodClan cats hooted and yowled at him, loosing to a she-cat. Leopardstar felt like clawing them. I can fight just as well as him! Idiots....
The guards hustled the two Clan cats back to their dumpster. Just before he turned into the alley where they were housed, Leopardstar turned to him and batted her eyes, "We can make it to our den now, thank you."
The guard gave her a doubtful look and she hunched her shoulders up, pretending to be weak, "Really, we can! Like we would try to escape. You all are too..." she gave a convincing shudder, "Too strong."
The guard shrugged and padded away. Leopardstar waited until he was out of earshot and sight and she rolled her eyes. "Toms."
Stormfur gave her an admiring look, "That was really good." he narrowed his eyes playfully. "I can't wait to tell RiverClan that you were actually weak for once."
She hissed and cuffed his ear. "Shut up." They padded closer to their dumpster, then stopped right outside it. Leoaprdstar turned and saw eyes gleaming at the end of the alley. But she knew them. She nudged Stormfur and nodded towards the glowing blue eyes.
His face lit up, "Feathertail!" he whispered excitedly. Leopardstar nodded, then looked aorund. No guards were there. She took a deep breath, then ran towards the cat. Stormfur followed her, being more cautious. Leopardstar reached the cats and hissed, "We have to leaqve, now. You can explain when we get home!"
Squirrelfight's eyes were scared, "But what about Bramble?"
Leopardstar looked at her, "Well, we can't get him. I'll explain about that later. Now let's get out of here!"
She led the way out, Squirrelflight was the last to go, looking back in the alley as though her mate would appear. But it was no use and she padded after them, not seeing the amber eyes that gleamed in the darkness, watching the Rebels. Then vanish.
Bramble padded back to BloodClan camp and into Scourge's den. "Master?" He bowed his head in deep respect and waited for the tiny cat to answer.
The tiny black cat looked up and grinned as he saw the brown tabby. "Ah, Bramble. My favorite luitenent. What's wrong?"
Bramble lifted his head but remained in a crouch, "I saw them Scourge."
"Leopard and Storm. They escaped."
"WHAT?!" Scourge screehced.
"There's more! There were cats helping them. There might've been more, but I saw Squirrel, Feather, Tawny, and Crow."
"Crow..." Scourge murmered. "Crow."
Bramble forced himself not to hiss. He didn't like Scourge doting on the scrawny, disagreeable cat when Bramble, the storng hero who had just saved BloodClan was right there.
Scourge seemed to read Bramble's mind. "Jealous are we?" he asked slowly while licking his lips.
Bramble said nothing but gave a tiny nod.
Scourge laughed, a cold sound, like a dog's bark. "Well we can't have that, can we? Alright. Send out the patrols. Get them back, all of them. And if that fails, send out the Hounds to kill them."
Bramble nodded and dipped his head again, then padded out to get the patrols.
Bramble ran after the retreating Clan cats. But they were so far away, there was no way his cats could get them. He let out a hiss and skidded to a halt. His BloodClan patrol slowed to a halt as well, growling and howling after the Clan cats. Bramble didn't think there was enough time to go get the Hounds.
He had lost them then.
He closed his eyes, then opened them. Scourge would make him pay dearly for this. And now they couldn't punish those insolent Clan cats. He let out a groan and turned, padded back to camp.
Gray called softly to the cats who were running across the sweeping grass. "Come on! You're almost here!"
He could see the cats chasing them turning and heading back home, the BloodClan cats were giving up. Sand next to him let out a purr. This was going exactly the way Crow had said it would. Gray waved his tail as the cats got closer and he saw there was two more cats added onto their group.
"Who-Leopardstar! Stormfur!" he said, running over to them. He turned to his daughter who's eyes were brimming with joy. "Where'd you find them?"
"BloodClan was holding them prisoner. We're still waiting for the full story...but then I was thinking they could hide out in the ShadowClan camp or something, one of the old camps. Maybe make it better for defense and recruit cats, help refugees....to help the rebellion." Crow said before Feather could respond. The other 3 she-cats nodded and Crow turned to Leopardstar and Stormfur. "So?"
Leopardstar flicked her tail at Stormfur and the gray tom shrugged. "Well, after the battle, the BloodClan cats dragged me off. I was unconcious and they knew I wasn't dead. They thought I looked strong so they took me from the battlefield. A moon later, they took Leopardstar. They trained us as their own warriors, but we were really their prisoners, entertainment, cats to beat up when they were frustrated. And there was no way out."
"What about Leaf? And Bramble?" Squirrel asked eagerly.
"They kidnapped Leaf but they found out pretty quick she didn't know a thing about fighting. They killed her the next day. And Bramble..." Stormfur passed uncomfortably.
"Bramble was Scourge's special project." Leopardstar said, taking over the story. "He knew that his father was Tigerstar and he wanted to punish him for it. But then he found out just how good a fighter, how powerful Bramble was. And then..."
Stormfur took over again, "He started training with him every day. And Bramble lost everything that made him...well, him. Now he's another lackey."
Squirrel lowered her head. Sand curled her tail around her. Loosing her sister and her mate in one moment had hurt the fiery she-cat. A lot it looked like.
"Well, you guys need to go to the RiverClan camp now." Crow said finally. "It's already best protected."
Gray nodded in agreement, "Try making it better, add more brambles, guard it..."
"If there are any cats we find, or you do, then you can train them." Sand said. "For the rebellion."
Leopardstar nodded and Stormfur meowed, "Can we go?"
Crow nodded and the two cats took off over the forest and moor.
Eclipsed growled as the 6 cats re-entered camp. "Where have you 6 been?" In 5 of their faces, various levels of alarm was shown, but in the 6th cat's face, there was nothing but contempt.
"We were hunting." the small dark gray toom told his leader defiantly.
"Fine." growled Eclipsed "But I'll see you at the Clan meeting in a few moments."
The cats all nodded and disappeared and Eclipsed sat down.
So the Scout was right. He thought. The Scout had arrived only a few moments before the 6 cats, telling the leader that 6 cats, he had named them as Crow, Sand, Gray, Storm, Feather, and Squirrel, had broken 2 BloodClan prisoners out and were the instigators of a suppose rebellion, before disappearing once more in the night.
Jag shook away the thoughts and leapt onto the ledge. "All Clannies gather blah blah blah."
He enjoyed the veiw as the groggy Clan cats were viciously dragged out of their dens and given scratches for their slowness. Eventually, all the cats were beneath him and he stared at them, relishing in the sight of their scratches, bleeding. Espiecially on that little dark gray cat, Crow.
He began finally. "Some new rules have been made due to recent events." The cats' attention was all on him.
"Rule number one," he said, "All cats may only go out in groups of 2 alone and unsupervised. After that, there will be 1 BloodClan guard for every cat there." there was rage and disbelief on the cats' faces. He moved on.'
"Next, if anyone is even accused of starting rebellion," he smiled down at the cats, mostly at a still stoic Crow, "You will be excuted."
Queens curled their tails around their kits and cats crouched lower to the ground in fear and defensiveness.
"Finally, I thought you'd all like to know that BloodClan is sending some of it's most hardened warriors to help us...ah, maintain our Clan."
He smiled down at the amazingly frightened, enraged, and horror-struck expressions below him.'
Sorrel looked down at her kits. Mole, Honey, and Poppy were only a few days old. She tried not to think about the kitting, it had been so horrible. Cinder and the other medicine cats couldn't help her, BloodClan didn't allow medicine cats. And she had no herbs, nothing to stop the pain. But it was all over....
Mole was squirming and Sorrel nudged him closer to her. He stopped squirming and started to suckle. Another thing, there wasn't enough food for the queens and even less now with the new crackdown. As a result, there was hardly any milk. Especially for 3 kits.
Maybe that rebellion Crow wanted so badly to happen could, it would benefit everyone...
Now Poppy was wriggling. Sorrel sighed and poked the kit closer to her. Feather and Squirrel slipped in form outside and Sorrel nodded to them.
"The new warriors are here." Feather whispered, sitting in her next. Sorrel closed her eyes and did her best not to wail. Her kits were already hungry, and more warriors taking the food wouldn't help. Plus, so much more pain and punishment would be inflicted. She sighed sadly.
"Everyone outside! Now!"
Sorrel let out a small hiss and made sure her kits were nestled into the grundgy moss. Then she padded out after Moss.
Outside, the skinny Clan cats were gathering under the Blood Stone where Eclipsed was standing with some of his regular warriors as well as several hulking monsters of cats who Sorrel took for the new warriors. She glared at each one of them and they glowered back. She held each one of their gazes until they were forced to look away and with each drop of eye contact she felt a little glow inside.
Hah, I win.
She watched Jag, trying not to laugh bitterly as she noticed her 'leader's' tail was twitching in fear. The big cat was scared of the newest recruits against the mutinous Clan cats. Lots of the other cats had noticed this too and that was making the whole thing much more humorous then terrifying. Jag seemed to notice the shift in moods and he hissed. "Silence!"
The new warriors hissed and growled but for once, the Clan cats weren't intimidated. It struck Sorrel how much the fire of rebellion had spread. No one was afraid anymore. And that made things so much more dangerous.
She slunk back into the nursery and to her wailing kits.
Apple bounded down the hill then slowed, looking around. The breeze carried no scents or yowls and meows of cats. No one swarmed around the sweeping hills. Everything was peaceful. She sniffed again, knowing this was wrong. Her mother had told her stories of the wild cats who controlled the moor, forest, river, and marsh here. She knew there were many and they should be here.
Suddenly the brush next to her rustled and she barely had the time to duck before a screeching spotted shape came flying out, pouncing on the place Apple had been standing. Apple spun arund, unsheathing her claws. She saw her attacker clearly, a dappled golden she-cat with amber eyes who was licking her paws, watching the loner amusedly.
"Who're you?" Apple panted, knowing full well that this she-cat had to be a wild cat.
"I am Leopardstar," the cat replied, her eyes blazing. "Former leader of RiverClan. Warrior, Rebel."
"Oh..." Apple gulped. "Um....I'm Apple. Rogue."
Leopardstar nodded, "I assume you're here for a reason?"
"Yes, actually." Apple meowed, brightening. "I want to join the Clans!"
For the first time, actual emotion flickered in Leopardestar's eyes. Was it fear? Pain? Something of the sort. But she meowed without hesitation, "The Clans are in...some trouble now. But you can feel free to come back to my camp with me and I'll explain everything."
"Well.." Apple started, but the Clan cat cut her off.
"But you must be aware," she told the young cat, and once again, emotion gleamed in her deep amber eyes, "That once you have joined us, you can't go back. And it can cost you many things."
"I'm ready." Apple replied evenly.
Leopardstar nodded, looking pleased and bounded off leaving Apple to run behind.
They raced for what felt like forever, not resting. Whenever Apple would make a noise, eather to pant or to brush a leaf accidentally, Leopardstar would hiss at her, "Quiet! Do you want to be caught?" Which made no sense, but Apple kept quiet.
Finally, they burst from the dark trees into a clear area. The ground was soft underfoot and a huge pile of flat rocks sat near the shore of a snaking blue river. Leopardstar paused for a moment, just watching the river move while Apple caught her breath.
"Come on." she said shortly, and padded over to the river. Apple slowly followed. Leopardstar quietly led her to a path of smooth stones leading across the river.
I'm not crossing that thing on those tiny pebbles! Apple wanted to yowl the words, but she swallowed her fear and copied Leopardstar's graceful moves as she leaped across the stones as though she had done it a thousand times before. When they reached the opposite side, Apple padded on, but stopped, relizing the leader wasn't with her. She turned to see Leopardstar staring across the river with sad eyes. Then the golden she-cat shook her head and bounded ahead of Apple.
They padded for a while more, then came upon the River again. It snaked around an island, then dissappeared in the trees. The island itself was pretty big, trees surronded it, sunlgiht was dappling it. It had some of the only trees with leaves and there was only some movements in the dens. A small fresh-kill pile sat in the center of camp. It was a beautiful place, it took Apple's breath away.
"Welcome," Leopardstar said, coming up next to Apple softly, "To Rebel Base."
Forrest stared at the new cat and Leopardstar. He smelled the wild scents of the forst on her, it had been on all of them, the rogues, Skye, Vixen, and he. But this new she-cat also had a warme,d milkier scent on her, like mice and hay....
Forrest shook his head and sighed, looking at Stormfur. The big gray tom shoot him a glance and shrugged his shoulders. But his amber eyes shined. Forrest knew how much this meant to him, another cat in the war against BloodClan. But to the rogues it was just another adventure, a home, cats to befriend and have help you. For most cats. Forrest was not among them.
Skye padded over to him, blue eyes bright. "Oh, a new cat!" she meowed, "I do hope she's alright, these journeys can be rough on such poor little ones....she looks so young! And all alone...."
Forrest rubbed his tail along his mate's back, comforting herm his eyes locked onto the new cat who was gazing around. Leopardstar left her side and bounded up to the rock she made announcements from.
"Cats, friends!" The five cats and the newbie gathered around her. "We have a new member today! This is Apple, a loner! She is now one of us and shall be treated as such. I haven't explained everything to her yet-" Confusion flickered across Apple's face and the rest of the cats mutter until Leopardstar continued, throwing them looks, "But I will. So make her feal at home. Meeting adjourned."
She bounded off the rock and Apple looked around.
Knowing Leopardstar and the others would expect him to take this responsibility, Forrest padded over to her, sighing.
"There's so much to learn!" Apple was bounding next to Forrest. They were out in the forest, sitting next to the river. Forrest hadn't realized exactly how you the she-cat was until they were closer. Her slider body and tall legs hid the fact that she was only about 9 moons old.
He nodded. "A lot. And you won't understand a lot of the things. But you will one day."
She nodded and stared across the river. "Who lives over there? Why are you all so frightened?"
Forrest's meowed slowly, "Just...some bad...cats."
His mouth went dry. "How-How...." she looked at him. "How much do you know?"
It was common fact that only Stormfur, he and Leopardstar knew the full extent of what lay over the river. How could this new cat know what was going on? She hadn't even been here a day!
"My mother told me stories of the Clan cats." Apple said quietly. "I always wanted to find them. Then later, news came about BloodClan." she paused. "I still wanted to come here, but I had another reason. It shattered my mother entirely, me as well. But I decided to do something about it."
"They took over the forest." Apple meowed, stareing him in the eye, her vice even. "They took over Twoleg Place and the barn. They killed my father. They killed Barely."
(A/N - Flashback chapter xD)
Barely stretched and opened his eyes, enjoying the coolness of the morning. Then he remembered.
The battle yesterday had gone awful and Firestar was dead. Ravenpaw and Barely had barely escaped with their lives. Barely was sure no one had followed them back, but he couldn't be sure. Not with this bunch of motely cats.
He looked around for Ravenpaw. The black cat was still asleep, the white fluff that was his tail tip resting on his nose. Barley got out of his nest and leaped down. The barn was deathly quiet. He padded to the door, hoping it had snowed. That might lift his spirits a little. The barn was always peaceful and quiet, the gently falling snow was beautiful, and he and Ravenpaw would just sit and watch for a while.
He gently pushed open the barn doors with his nose. Suddenly his brain registered that something was wrong. Maybe it was the scent of crowfood. Of the cackling that sounded like claws scraping on metal. Or maybe it was his own screams that reminded him of when he was a kit.
But before he could do anything, they were on him. All he could do was screech, "RAVENPAW! RAVENPAW!" He couldn't see if his friend was up, only pray Ravenpaw could escape. Claws tore into him, teeth yanked at him, jeers and taunts came from cats he couldn't see. He was fighting, but there were too many and he was too tired.
Then he felt a flash of horror. Velvet was coming today. To show Barely her new kit. His new kit. If they were caught here....the BloodClan cats would only leave if the barn cats beat them-which was unlikely, or if they were dead. Barely couldn't let his mate and an innocent kit die, he knew he only had one choice.
With his last ounce of strength, he pushed up, looking arund the barn. It was horrific really, everything was in place, beautiful and still. Ravenpaw's body lay in the hay. Barely just hoped his friend hadn't been in any pain before he went to join StarClan.
All the BloodClan warriors were on him now. He couldn't fight anymore....it was too hard. He just hoped he'd hurt some of them.
He let himself fall still and felt his body drop to the ground. He watched, through glazing eyes, as the BloodClan warriors walked off laughing, his blood spilled across the barn floor. The last thing he saw before he gave into the dizzing blackness, was the gently falling snow on a dark dawn day.
(A/N - Another Flashback chapter, sorry)
Velvet padded into the barn, only a few moments after the rogues had left, though she didn't know that. She was panting, her swollen stomach moving.
"Hello? Barley?" Velevet called, looking aorund. The bell on her collar jingled softly in the haunting silence.
She saw Ravenpaw first. Her eyes widened and she ran over to his body. "Ravenpaw!"
She nudged him a few times but his eyes were alreayd glazed over, his flank no longer moving. She sadly buried her nose in his fur, then slowly drew it out, her eyes wide with horror.
"Barley..." she whispered. Then she screamed it. "Barley!"
She bounded down the hay as well as she could with her swollen stomach and saw his body, lying in the moonlight. She padded over. She stood over his body and a single tear fell on her fur.
Then she felt the kit coming.
Velvet licked the blood off her kit. She would've liked to have it in the hay but there was no time to move and she was too tired from her journey and carrying the kit. The kit had been born in a pool of her father's blood. The kit was cream with darker paws, ears, and tail tip like her mother. But she had Barley's eyes.
Velvet hadn't named her yet, she was looking for something that would caputre the sadness of the moment, the heartache, but also the joy in the new life.
Then the Twoleg came in.
The door creaked open and Velvet's head jerked up. The Twoleg looked at her, then noticed the two tom's lying still in the moonlight. He came a little closer to Barley and saw the blood.
He dropped the bucket he was carrying, the contents spilling. Then he ran out screeching.
Velvet let out a low wail and nuzzled her kit. Then a bright color caught her eye and she turned.
Apple slices were scattered on the barn floor and in the blood. Velvet bowed her head. Then she looked at the kit.
"Apple. Your name is Apple."
She turned back to her dead mate and buried her nose in his fur. The kit, already standing, tottered over and stood next to her mother, intelligent eyes already taking in the scene, burning with the fire of revenge...
Forrest's eyes widened and it was all he could do to keep from getting sick. The grisly story Apple had just said, perfectly horrifying and true down to the last detail, had scared him more the anything he ever thought could.
It was scary but more sad, how clearly he could see the picture. A she-cat's horror at discovering her mate was murdered. Her kit being born in his blood. The bloodstained apples the Twoleg had spilled. Apple's eyes burning with fire to avenge her father from the moment she was born...
"Velvet went insane from grief later. BloodClan found out about her and tried to kill her. Eventually they did. It was awful. I remember it-"
"Excuse me..." Forrest said to the young cat, not wanting to hear the story of how this cat was left all alone in a too painful world. He turned away and ran off for a while, then he let out a small screech of horror and got sick. He ran back weakly.
Apple was still sitting there, her tail curled around her paws. Her eyes glinted....Barley's eyes....Forrest fought to stay calm.
"So...you're here now." he choked out.
"I am." Apple said. "And I'm taking down BloodClan."
Forrest nodded, wanting to argue. "So how....how much do you know?"
Apple's eyes gleamed with the satisfaction which Forrest was used to seeing in Leopardstar's eyes. "Everything. I know who's left, I know where they are, I know names. I even know that they sent reinforcments yesterday because the Clan cats are getting so out of hand." she let out a mmrow of amusement.
Forrest laughed. Leopardstar would be happy and this little cat could be more usful then he had thought at first.
"OK, well c'mon. Let's go back to camp. No use in showing you the territory, you probably already know it all anyways."
Apple brushed past him, "Of course I do."
Forrest rolled his eyes and followed her back home.
Squirrel let out a whimper. "They're coming."
The other queens scooched away and Cinder, who had managed to sneak in, moved closer. "It's ok, you're doing great. Bramble would be proud."
Squirrel thought of her mate, in Twoleg Place and under Scourge's wing...did he even still think about her? But she couldn't think about it because a wave of pain hit her.
"Ok, I need you to push now..." Cinder was saying reassuringly, "It's almost over."
Squirrel sighed and did as the medicine cat said, just wishing that this could be over and her lovely kits could be born already.
A little while later, after Cinder had slipped off and the new queens had clustered around Squirrel to see her kits, Squirrel had the first chance to really see her kits clearly after thanking everyone for being so nice and all the name offers.
There were three of them. Two toms and a she-cat.
(A/N - No, they're not gonna be Jay, Holly and Lion. Yes, I am evil like that. lol. >:D )
One of the toms was a small ginger kit with a white belly and chest and hauntingly familiar green eyes. The other was a strong looking brown furred kit with amber eyes and white paws. The last one was a brown tabby, she looked exactly like Bramble-but with Squirrel's eyes.
They looked so much like the people Squirrel had lost, Leafpaw, Bramble, Firestar....
"What're their names?" breathed Feather, giving her a sympathetic look. Squirrel's friend seemed to know exactly what she was thinking.
Squirrel took a deep breath. Careful now....
"The brown tom....he can be Treekit." she said, thinking how much he looked like her dead sister. "The she-kit can be Thornkit..." Because thorns and brambles are so alike...
"And the ginger tom?" asked Feather.
"Firekit." said Squirrel with sudden conviction.
"A-And their names...you mean Tree, Thorn, and Fire, right?" Feather meowed nervously, the only one who could speak.
"No." Squirrel growled. This act of defiance, in Firekit in particular, would be a blow to BloodClan. But she didn't care, nothing mattered anymore.
The rebellion was heating up.
Feather let out a growl as her eyes flew open. One of the new BloodClan warriors, Feather was pretty sure her name was Ice, was leering down at her. "Clan meeting, c'mon. Or I'll have to kill you."
Feather hissed softly and slowly got up. Ice watched with narrowed eyes, then turned to the other queens. Feather had a horrible feeling she knew what the meeting was about. Yesterday, as soon as she could walk and Feather agreed to watch her kits, Squirrel had marched to Jag's den and told him her kits had been born. And their names.
Feather prayed as she walked outside in the cold morning air. Please don't let him hurt those kits....It's not their fault.
Jag was waiting on the ledge with half the Clan blinking and yawning at his paws. He noticed the silver she-cat coming and wave his tail at her, grinning. She stopped in her tracks and waved her tail back, stunned. She knew what was going to happen now.
Jag waited until Squirrel sat down, then, without waiting for the rest of the cats, began.
"Cats, I have some new to make. We have a litter of kits born to Squirrel and our unfortunate friend" he bared his teeth, "Bramble." Feather almost gave a dark laugh. The big tom had no idea that they knew where Bramble was.
"Anyways, she gave birth to three kits, two toms and a she-kit..." Jag said in a bored tone, clearly not carring about the kits at all. "Their names are," his tone sparked dangerously. "Tree, Thorn, and Fire."
"Excuse me," said Squirrel coldly. "But their names are Treekit, Thornkit, and Firekit." Jag let out a hiss and a burly warrior swiped at Squirrel who ducked and spun around, her fur on end. But Jag called, "Enough!" Squirrel turned back and everyone's fur flattened. Jag's eyes were narrowed.
"As Squirrel refuses to abide the Clan law, she will have to be punished."
Feather let out a whimper. She didn't want the kits punished but Squirrel was her friend...
But Jag wasn't finished with his horrible punishment. "So her kits will be excecuted. At dusk, today."
There was a shocked silence, then outraged yowls and wails. Jag's warriors pushed the Clan cats towards their dens but for the first time, the Clan cats pushed back. Feather crouched low to the ground and hissed, then slipped through the crowd, looking for Squirrel. She caught sight of her friend and ran over.
The flame colored she-cat spun around. Her eyes were enraged but there was pain in their green depths too. "What?"
"You need to get the kits out!" Feather hissed. "That way BloodClan can't get them. Take them to the Rebels, Stormfur can take care of them! You know he will."
Squirrel stopped moving for a moment, eyes thoughtful. Feather knew she wanted to save her kits, wanted what was best for them. But they could die if they were caught. And there was so much danger. And there was little hope for her seeing them again. she could be killed or caught...
She nodded. "C'mon."
Feather followed her into the nursery.
They had been able to sneak out of camp during the skirmish. The Clan cats were fighting hard and it didn't seem like this would blow over anytime soon.
Now they stood at the river. The three kits mewled at Squirrel's paws. A small dark shape was getting closer and Feather recognized her brother.
Stormfur arrived and meowed softly, "These are your kits?" Squirrel nodded mutely, licking Treekit's head. "They're beautiful."
Without another word he picked them up and bounded back across the river, pausing only to look back at them, waving his tail sadly.
Feather pressed against Squirrel as she stared across the river.
Crow let out a yowl and raked his claws down the side of the Bloodclan cat in front of him. The cat was stunned and Crow was able to push him away, right into Tawny's claws. He turned away as the tortoishell she-cat gave a satisfied growl and started scratching the tom.
Crow looked around. No sign of Feather or Squirrel. And he was sure Moss, who he had sent to the nursery to check, would come back saying Squirrel's kits were gone.
Thank StarClan they're so clever....and out of the fighting...I don't want Feather or my kits hurt...or Squirrel eather. Though a fight might claw a little sense into her brain...
He was jerked out of his thoughts by a pain on his cheek. He blinked, seeing Jag standing in front of him.
"End it." The BloodClan leader snarled.
"Never." Crow hissed back, leaping at him.
Jag ducked and hissed. "You know we'll kill oyu all eventually. Scourge is just using you to get what he wants. You do the work and die out like the pests you are. And we get the easy life."
Crow spun at him and pounced again, this time landing on the BloodClan leader. "You're a bunch of smelly, flea bitten rogues, who are too cowardly and lazy to do some actual work." he spit. Jag hissed. "Get off me now. You Clan cats have to learn that we'll beat you every time. Now get off and I might not rip out your throat after making you watch me kill your mate and kits."
Crow growled then slowly got up. Jag nimbly jumped up, glaring at him. Crow knew that he would pay dearly for this, but he was sure that no one would ever forget this or let Jag forget a Clan cat had beaten him. And Jag himself most certainly would never forget. And that was both good and bad.
Tawny slipped up beside him, holding Jag's gaze until he was forced to look away. She murmered to Crow, "What's the plan?"
He swallowed. All these cats were being hurt because of him. And they still expected him to lead them. But he knew he had to answer. "Meet me at Owl Tree....after...this."
Tawny nodded and slipped away. Crow saw her herding the kits and queens into the nursery. He exhaled. At least they were safe.
The BloodClan cats had surronded Jag, waiting for his command, eyes smoldering. Most of them were staring at Crow.
Jag glowered for another moment, then lowered his head ever so slightly. "I need to discuss this with my warriors. All Clan cats in their dens. If you step out, I will in fact kill you myself and laugh."
He turned and stalked into his den. The Clan cats broke apart and scattered into their dens. Crow knew everyone was still talking about the latest rebellion. he just hoped Squirrel and Feather got back in ok.
He crawled into his den and curled up in his nest. He needed all his strength if he was really going to start a rebellion.
Scourge raked his claws across Bramble's face. "What do you mean you let them escape???"
Bramble hissed and wiped blood out of his eyes. "I meant they got away."
Scourge hit him again and Bramble skidded on the slippery den floor.
"Now get out." The BloodClan leader hissed coldly.
Bramble backed out of the den, trying to stop the blood flowing from his face. He padded to a dumpster and sat outside, trying to use his fur to mop up the blood.
He let out a snarl. How could he have been so stupid? Those dumb Clan cats....he would kill them. That would make Scourge happy...
Bramble stared off. The moon was a perfect ball of ice and Bramble's eyes danced with fire as he imagined himself leading a army of BloodClan warriors to wipe out the pesky Clan cats.
He growled, for a moment remembering. Storm's conversations, Feather's soothing talks, Crow's firey determination. Remebering life with Tawny. Sitting under a tree, tlaking with Squirrel about their kits...
He shook his head. He wouldn't remember. They all had to die.
Then maybe Scourge would be happy.
Then maybe Tigerstar would leave him alone.
Stormfur grabbed one of the kits, carried it a little ways away, then did the same to the other two. Finally he reached home. Leopardstar ran out to greet him.
"What are those?" she asked.
"Squirrel's kits. Treekit, Thornkit, and Firekit. That's exactly what she named them." he meowed waryily, staring her in the eye.
Leopardstar sighed. "Squirrel is a great rebel. Not a paitent, caculating one, but a great one."
Stormfur purred. "I was thinking Skye could take care of them."
Leopardstar nodded. "I'll take them back." She grabbed the kits and bounded back to camp. Stormfur prepared to follow, then scented two cats and stopped.
Forrest and Apple melted out of the reeds. "We heard it all." Forrest said grimly. Stormfur wondered why they sounded so upset.
Apple noticed his confused expression and hissed, "If Squirrel was desperate enough to pull this stunt and if the consequences were so dire that she had to seperate from her kits, then BloodClan and the Clan cats must be close to war! The rebels are firing up the rebellion!"
Forrest nodded, looking slightly pleased that Apple hgad figured it out. Stormfur sighed. "OK, well what can we do?"
"We can recruit more cats, start getting queens and kits out of their camp...there's lots of things!" Apple said, her eyes shining with excitement.
Stormfur couldn't help but feel lifted by the apprentices excitement. "OK, well let's go talk to Leopardstar."
He bounded off, leaving the two other cats to run after.
Tawny crouched to the ground of the den. She wanted nothing more then to just get out of the wretched, dirty den, but the warrior sitting guard outside kept shooting her dirty looks.
She sighed and curled up in her nest, closing her eyes, only to be woken a moment later by Jag's harsh call. "Get out here you worthless lumps!"
Tawny quietly called him a thousand different names in her head, then groaned and got up, padding out.
The Clan was gathering just like usual, but this time, the Clan cats were bearing much more scars then usual. Most were licking their wounds nervously. But there were a few, Crow included, that was sitting stoically, looking up at Jag. The most unusual thing was the BloodClan cats who ringed the circle of Clan cats were also coated in scars and blood. Some of the wounds looked very nasty and Tawny fought happiness.
She found a spot next to Crow, almost a clear cirfcle of no cats surronded them as though they were green-cough or a sleeping badger that was best left alone. Tawny didn't mind and she knew Crow didn't eather. She forced herself to look up at Jag's ugly, scarred, scornful face.
Jag waited for all the Clan cats to get seated and get comfortable before he began. This was odd behavior and it made Tawny sure something bad was coming. Tawny let out a low sigh, making sure no one but Crow could hear. He flicked his ear and whispered, "It's going to be fine. Relax."
Tawny grumbled. I wasn't scared...
Jag interuppted her thoughts, "As you might have heard, we are having some..." his eyes strayed across Tawny and Crow, "difficulities...with certian members of our Clan. So I've decided, as to not kill too many of my dear, dear Clanmates..." his voice dripped with sarcasm. "That if you are a rebel or thought to be associating with one, then you have to get out. Now. If you're not out by sunset..." he looked at the sun which barely hung over the horizon, "You're dead."
Tawny felt her mouth go dry. She wasn't afraid....just nervous. So much danger....and there were cats like Sand and Gray who weren't going to be safe if they stayed. Firestar's mate and best friend would definately be accused of being rebels.
The Clan was murmering among themselves and Jag yowled to make himself heard, "There is one final order of buisness so SHUT UP!"
The Clan almost instantly became quiet, staring back up at their vile leader.
Jag smiled coldly. "Much better. Now, before you go back to your filthy putrid dens," he glared ast them as though it was their fault the BloodClanm cats had all the good moss, bedding, and dry dens. "I have one more announcement."
Deathly silence filled the clearing and suddenly Tawny flashed back to another still clearing with two groups of angry cats facing off.
Why'd you have to die dad? She silently asked the stars. Why'd you have to get us in this mess?
But if Tigerstar heard he made no answer.
"I'm declaring war on the Rebels." Jag finished.
The moon shone brightly on the Four Great Oaks. One cat slipped from the RiverClan side of the Oaks. The other 4 came from the ThunderClan side.
"What're we going to do?" asked the tom who came from RiverClan.
"More cats are going to die." whispered the silver tabby.
"Well they can run and hide if they want." meowed the tortoiseshell harshly.
"But it'll still be our fault..." murmered the ginger she-cat sadly.
None of them noticed the amber eyes staring at them from a bush.
"What're we going to do?" asked the tortoiseshell again.
"Easy." meowed the only cat who hadn't talked, a smoky gray tom. "We fight back.
What will happen next as the Clan cats start to fight back the forces that hold them prisoner? Who will side with the rebels and who will show their true colors and betray all they've ever known. And is StarClan still watching the cats? Read the exciting new sequeal, When BloodClan Fought to find out![[Category:Artimas Hunter's Fanfics]]